FEATURED PLAYLIST

 

 

Akili King is a Chicago-native, Brooklyn-based writer and creative. Her writing intersects the spheres of beauty, music, and culture. She also loves pole dancing, yoga, and music.

 


ABOUT THE PLAYLIST

 

A song that makes you smile?

Kamauu & Adeline - Mango

 

A song that you can listen to on repeat?

Mereba - Rider

 

A song that reminds you of home?

Stevie Wonder - Another Star

 

A song that helps you unwind?

Mos Def - The Panties

 

Last song you sent to someone?

keiyaA - Every Nigga Is a Star

 

If your life were a song, which song would it be?

Robert Glasper ft. Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michelle - Ah Yeah

 

A song that reminds you of someone you love?

Womack & Womack - Teardrops

 

Your go-to song to boost your mood?

Dwele - Twuneanunda

 

A song that makes you want to dance?

Masego - Yebo / Sema

 

A song you like to enjoy a meal to?

Mulatu Astatke - Tezeta

 

5 bonus songs of your choice! Tell us why you chose each one of them.

Eric Roberson - Change For Me: I chose this song because it also reminds me of home. My father is a house music DJ and I remember hearing a lot of music growing up because of him, and this is one song that has really stuck with me. I think hearing the beat, guitar, and the lyrics “don’t change for me,” still resonate with me today– a reminder to never change your heart for anyone else, because the right people will always love you the way you are. It’s just a beautiful, classic house song, too… I love the way it builds. You just never want it to end! lol.

 

Esperanza Spalding - Cuerpo Y Alma: I absolutely love this song and everything about Esperanza. She (and Kelsey Lu) make me wish I never quit playing the cello growing up lol! If I had seen these two ladies when I was younger, maybe I wouldn’t have. But this song is on my Writing playlist (I recommend all writers check it out, and or create their own writing playlists!), which helps me focus, especially when I’m on a tight deadline or simply have writer's block. Jazz is so expansive and meditative to me, it forces you to really be present because it’s such an attention-grabbing genre in my opinion. I also love listening to Jazz with no lyrics or Jazz in other languages, because, that way, I don’t get distracted by the lyrics. I just allow the music to transport me, and drown out all the other noise around me and in my head. Music, at the end of the day, is what inspires me most to write!


J Dilla – Crushin’ (Yeeeeaah!) : This is just one of my favorite songs. It makes me happy. I clearly love hip hop, jazz, and house and things that remind me of the early 2000s or 90s. I love how carefree he is in the lyrics and the flow. And the beat is just so infectious too (the instrumental version of this is great.) It also takes me back to a night I DJ’d at café erzulie (pre pandemic) during a 90s themed party and the room was packed and everyone was having such a great time. And I put this on and the crowd went crazy lol! So it just brings up fond memories. I also love how Miguel paid homage to it in his “Come thru and chill” song, which I also love!

 

Kool & the Gang - Summer Madness: It’s summertime, so this song is clearly essential! Lol! It’s just good vibes.

 

Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder, Kamasi Washington - Luv U: This song makes me feel so many things at once– happy and nostalgic. It has me missing someone I didn’t even know I missed lol! I think that’s the beauty of music though. Even with such simple lyrics. It touches you in places you didn’t even realize needed to be addressed. I think good music forces you to feel something deep down in your soul. This is one of those songs for me. It also makes me think of one of my best friends, who showed me this song. And it features a few of my favorite artists! I also thought it was a nice song to close out on… a reminder to spread love!


 

More About Akili

 

What are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about community and creativity. My creativity manifests in many different forms: writing, singing, dancing (especially pole dance) and DJing. I also love to paint in my spare time.

 

When do you feel most like “you”?
When I’m being creative. Any time I’m writing, dancing, singing, painting, etc. Even the act of twisting or braiding my own hair makes me feel most beautiful and present. Anything that is meditative and involves using my hands or body in general is when I feel most myself, and most confident and most grounded.

 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a very bad memory lol

 

What does self-care mean for you?
Self-care, to me, is the act of healing and being present with self. It can be so many different things: from drinking tea and lighting a candle to journaling and listening to music. I think it’s the act of listening to the soul and getting in tune with your inner child– asking what they need to feel full and whole again. It could be a face mask or it could be a good talk with a friend. I think it’s just important to allow self-care to be expansive, and not just one thing! It’s whatever you need it to be in the moment/ or phase in your life.

 

What’s inspiring you right now?
The resilience of Black and brown people is a constant inspiration to me.

 

What’s your favorite thing to do at home?
Honestly, my favorite thing to do at home is sing lol! I sing everywhere– in the shower, in my room, while I’m cooking etc. It’s a very healing practice for me. Aside from that, I would say pole dancing, but I’m waiting until I move apartments to finally get a pole in my home. Then, I’m sure, that will be my favorite thing to do.

 

What is your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would include meditation, a good workout (maybe pole or yoga or Tracy Anderson Method), a yummy matcha and or juice, soothing shower, maybe a walk/time in the sun of some sort, hanging out with friends/family, ending the night dancing or doing karaoke or watching Love Jones. Of course good meals throughout the day as well. I would love to end the night with journaling / writing what I’m grateful for that day.

 

What’s your favorite live music show you ever went to?
Oh wow that’s so hard. There are so many shows I wish that I could say I’ve been to also lol. FKA Twigs' show was amazing on every level. She’s a huge inspiration to me. I love that she’s always trying new things and pushing her artistry to the next level. She’s also just extremely empowering and brave in general.

 

When do you feel most creative?
I think creativity comes to me oftentimes out of sadness. But it’s not limited to that only. But sadness is definitely a vehicle for me to create; it’s honestly what helps me get through hard times. When nothing or no one else is there, I know I at least always have my creativity in the end, as a release and as a way to self-soothe or tell stories in ways that might be hard to express verbally. And that’s something that can never be taken away.

 

What’s your favorite thing to cook?
I love to cook couscous with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, red onion, and mushrooms or black beans with a squeeze of lemon, and seasoned with lemon pepper and salt on top. It’s so yummy!

 

What are three things you can’t live without?
Family, pole, good food.

 

 

ABOUT THE PLAYLIST

 

A song that makes you smile?

Kamauu & Adeline - Mango

 

A song that you can listen to on repeat?

Mereba - Rider

 

A song that reminds you of home?

Stevie Wonder - Another Star

 

A song that helps you unwind?

Mos Def - The Panties

 

Last song you sent to someone?

keiyaA - Every Nigga Is a Star

 

If your life were a song, which song would it be?

Robert Glasper ft. Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michelle - Ah Yeah

 

A song that reminds you of someone you love?

Womack & Womack - Teardrops

 

Your go-to song to boost your mood?

Dwele - Twuneanunda

 

A song that makes you want to dance?

Masego - Yebo / Sema

 

A song you like to enjoy a meal to?

Mulatu Astatke - Tezeta

 

5 bonus songs of your choice! Tell us why you chose each one of them.

Eric Roberson - Change For Me: I chose this song because it also reminds me of home. My father is a house music DJ and I remember hearing a lot of music growing up because of him, and this is one song that has really stuck with me. I think hearing the beat, guitar, and the lyrics “don’t change for me,” still resonate with me today– a reminder to never change your heart for anyone else, because the right people will always love you the way you are. It’s just a beautiful, classic house song, too… I love the way it builds. You just never want it to end! lol.

 

Esperanza Spalding - Cuerpo Y Alma: I absolutely love this song and everything about Esperanza. She (and Kelsey Lu) make me wish I never quit playing the cello growing up lol! If I had seen these two ladies when I was younger, maybe I wouldn’t have. But this song is on my Writing playlist (I recommend all writers check it out, and or create their own writing playlists!), which helps me focus, especially when I’m on a tight deadline or simply have writer's block. Jazz is so expansive and meditative to me, it forces you to really be present because it’s such an attention-grabbing genre in my opinion. I also love listening to Jazz with no lyrics or Jazz in other languages, because, that way, I don’t get distracted by the lyrics. I just allow the music to transport me, and drown out all the other noise around me and in my head. Music, at the end of the day, is what inspires me most to write!


J Dilla – Crushin’ (Yeeeeaah!) : This is just one of my favorite songs. It makes me happy. I clearly love hip hop, jazz, and house and things that remind me of the early 2000s or 90s. I love how carefree he is in the lyrics and the flow. And the beat is just so infectious too (the instrumental version of this is great.) It also takes me back to a night I DJ’d at café erzulie (pre pandemic) during a 90s themed party and the room was packed and everyone was having such a great time. And I put this on and the crowd went crazy lol! So it just brings up fond memories. I also love how Miguel paid homage to it in his “Come thru and chill” song, which I also love!

 

Kool & the Gang - Summer Madness: It’s summertime, so this song is clearly essential! Lol! It’s just good vibes.

 

Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder, Kamasi Washington - Luv U: This song makes me feel so many things at once– happy and nostalgic. It has me missing someone I didn’t even know I missed lol! I think that’s the beauty of music though. Even with such simple lyrics. It touches you in places you didn’t even realize needed to be addressed. I think good music forces you to feel something deep down in your soul. This is one of those songs for me. It also makes me think of one of my best friends, who showed me this song. And it features a few of my favorite artists! I also thought it was a nice song to close out on… a reminder to spread love!


 

More About Akili

 

What are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about community and creativity. My creativity manifests in many different forms: writing, singing, dancing (especially pole dance) and DJing. I also love to paint in my spare time.

 

When do you feel most like “you”?
When I’m being creative. Any time I’m writing, dancing, singing, painting, etc. Even the act of twisting or braiding my own hair makes me feel most beautiful and present. Anything that is meditative and involves using my hands or body in general is when I feel most myself, and most confident and most grounded.

 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have a very bad memory lol

 

What does self-care mean for you?
Self-care, to me, is the act of healing and being present with self. It can be so many different things: from drinking tea and lighting a candle to journaling and listening to music. I think it’s the act of listening to the soul and getting in tune with your inner child– asking what they need to feel full and whole again. It could be a face mask or it could be a good talk with a friend. I think it’s just important to allow self-care to be expansive, and not just one thing! It’s whatever you need it to be in the moment/ or phase in your life.

 

What’s inspiring you right now?
The resilience of Black and brown people is a constant inspiration to me.

 

What’s your favorite thing to do at home?
Honestly, my favorite thing to do at home is sing lol! I sing everywhere– in the shower, in my room, while I’m cooking etc. It’s a very healing practice for me. Aside from that, I would say pole dancing, but I’m waiting until I move apartments to finally get a pole in my home. Then, I’m sure, that will be my favorite thing to do.

 

What is your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would include meditation, a good workout (maybe pole or yoga or Tracy Anderson Method), a yummy matcha and or juice, soothing shower, maybe a walk/time in the sun of some sort, hanging out with friends/family, ending the night dancing or doing karaoke or watching Love Jones. Of course good meals throughout the day as well. I would love to end the night with journaling / writing what I’m grateful for that day.

 

What’s your favorite live music show you ever went to?
Oh wow that’s so hard. There are so many shows I wish that I could say I’ve been to also lol. FKA Twigs' show was amazing on every level. She’s a huge inspiration to me. I love that she’s always trying new things and pushing her artistry to the next level. She’s also just extremely empowering and brave in general.

 

When do you feel most creative?
I think creativity comes to me oftentimes out of sadness. But it’s not limited to that only. But sadness is definitely a vehicle for me to create; it’s honestly what helps me get through hard times. When nothing or no one else is there, I know I at least always have my creativity in the end, as a release and as a way to self-soothe or tell stories in ways that might be hard to express verbally. And that’s something that can never be taken away.

 

What’s your favorite thing to cook?
I love to cook couscous with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, red onion, and mushrooms or black beans with a squeeze of lemon, and seasoned with lemon pepper and salt on top. It’s so yummy!

 

What are three things you can’t live without?
Family, pole, good food.